Economic Update, August 27, 2012
Provided courtesy of Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
Retail sales fell 1.5% for the week ending August 18, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3.1%.
Existing home sales rose 2.3% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million units from 4.37 million units in June. Compared to a year ago, existing home sales were up 10.4% in July. The inventory of unsold homes on the market increased 1.3% to 2.4 million in July, a 6.4-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 6.5-month supply in June.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending August 17 fell 7.4%. Refinancing applications decreased 9%. Purchase volume rose 0.9%.
New home sales rose 3.6% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000 units from an upwardly revised rate of 359,000 units in June. The initial June reading was 350,000. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales are up 25.3% compared with July 2011. At the current sales pace, there’s a 4.6-month supply of new homes on the market.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — rose $9.4 billion or 4.2% to $230.7 billion in July. This increase follows a 1.6% increase in June. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, July orders posted a monthly decrease of 0.4%.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending August 18 rose by 4,000 to 372,000 from an upwardly revised 368,000 the prior week. Continuing claims for the week ending August 11 also rose by 4,000 to 3.317 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing price index on August 28, pending home sales on August 29 and factory orders on August 31.